PV resident, son of Vietnam POW, helps honor fallen Olathe soldier with special awards hardware

Prairie Village resident Marvin Mastin, left, is helping create the prize plaques for this weekend's Spencer Duncan Make it Count 5K.
Prairie Village resident Marvin Mastin, left, is helping create the prize plaques for this weekend’s Spencer Duncan Make it Count 5K.

As the son of a soldier who served in Vietnam and was a prisoner of war for six years, veterans’ issues have been close to Prairie Village resident Marvin Mastin for years.

This weekend, Mastin and his family will be helping honor the legacy of another veteran. Mastin’s father Ronald will be flying into town from Atlanta to run in the fifth annual Spencer C. Duncan Make it Count 5K at the New Century Airport in Gardner. Marvin will be running as well. And if all goes according to plan, the avid father-and-son runners are hoping to be able to take home some of the special hardware that Mastin’s company Dimensional Innovations is producing.

The run, now in its fifth year, honors Duncan, an Olathe native and helicopter door gunner who was killed in Afghanistan in August 2011. Through the family’s connection to the POW community, Mastin was approached last year about helping oversee the creation of the awards for the race. As a project manager at DI, a high-end specialty installation fabricator located just across I-35 from Mission, Mastin helps come up with creative ideas for project ranging from signage to architectural installations.

This year, with the help of the company’s craftsmen, DI came up with an award plaque that features an image of Duncan behind a brushed aluminum medallion with the logo of the Make it Count Foundation. The company is putting the finishing touches of the plaques, more than 50 in total, today ahead of Saturday’s race.

Mastin says his father, now in his 70s, has a great shot at taking the first place prize in his age group.

“You look at the times from last year, and there wasn’t anyone in his group that would have been faster,” Mastin said. “He’s in pretty great shape.”

The awards feature an image of Duncan wrapped in acrylic with a medallion embedded on top.
The awards feature an image of Duncan wrapped in acrylic with a medallion embedded on top.